Have you ever wanted to go sky diving?
Well, now is your chance!
Royal Caribbean has partnered with iFLY to produce Ripcord by iFLY, the first sky diving simulator at sea. Ripcord by iFLY is featured on Quantum of the Seas and soon to be sister ship, Anthem of the Seas.
Ripcord by iFLY on Quantum of the Seas
Along with many of the other innovations Royal Caribbean has to offer, you now have the opportunity to feel what it is like to fly by experiencing Ripcord by iFLY during your cruise, at no additional cost. Included in your cruise fare is a complimentary 1 minute flight session in this wind tunnel with an experienced flight guide. This session is available to pre-book in your cruise planner or can be booked once onboard the ship pending availability.
You can, of course, purchase an additional 2 minute flight for $40 to advance your skills and fly like the pros.
How Does Ripcord by iFLY Work?
The flight chamber, the enclosed capsule in which you fly, is powered by a vertical wind tunnel that creates a cushion of air allowing you to float. Once you enter the chamber with the trained guide, the tunnel operator adjusts wind speed based on your weight and skill level. Then, get ready for the time of your life as you experience what it is like to fly with no parachute!
Experience is not necessary as you will be given a briefing prior to your flight with all the safety instructions. Aside from some physical restrictions, essentially anyone can fly. In fact, in our group we had a few children and a woman who was probably near 80 years old.
It does take training and expert skill level to be able to perform flips and tricks however. So, even though you will be able to watch your instructor perform these tricks, you yourself will not be able to release your Spidy skills during your time in Ripcord.
Ripcord by iFLY is available for pre-booking in your Cruise Planner, so we would suggest doing so as spots are limited once onboard the ship but not impossible to get. We were initially booked for Day 2 of our cruise, but due to extremely rough seas, our flight was cancelled. It’s not so much that the flight is weather dependent, but you need to go outside to access the flight chamber, and all outside decks were closed this day of our cruise.
We were able to speak with one of the SeaPlex staff members and reschedule for Day 7 of the cruise, so all was not lost.
In preparation for your Ripcord flight, you should remove all jewelry. You should also plan on wearing comfortable clothing as you will need to wear a flight jump suit over your street clothing. The flight also requires sneakers, or at least socks to wear with shoes that can be provided for you. You are not allowed to take anything with you as you head up to the flight chamber, this includes cameras.
Our recommendation would be to have a friend or family member fly at a different time than you so they can capture all your pictures. This also means you will want to leave any valuables in your room. There are cubbys available for you to store belongings but they are NOT lockers.
The Adrenaline Rush of Ripcord by iFLY
Our rescheduled iFLY flight was 9:55am on Day 7 of our Quantum of the Seas cruise. You are told to arrive 10 minutes prior to your flight time to allow all members of the group to check-in and sign waivers if they have not already done so. FYI, you can sign all your waivers ahead of time on your TV in your stateroom.
The group, which is our case was about 15 people, is then led into a small room where you are introduced to your guide, watch a brief instructional video, and then review hand signals with the instructor. Since you are not able to hear in the wind tunnel, hand signals are very important. There are 4 main hand signals that you need to be aware of for your flight, which include “chin up”, “straighten knees”, “bend knees”, and “relax”.
Body position is extremely important as slight movements will greatly alter your positioning in the tunnel.
Following this briefing, you are suited up with jumpsuits, goggles, earplugs, and helmets. Of course, there are some professional photo-ops with you in your gear even before you head out to the flight chamber. Once the group is ready, you are lead up a flight of stairs to the flight chamber area, which is outside above the Flowrider area. Here, there are benches for the group to sit on and await their turn. Each member of the group is called one by one to experience their 1 minute of fly time.
We were about halfway through the pack, so we got to watch some decent flights and some not so good flights and attempted to learn a few tips. But, all is lost the second you step into the tunnel!
The Princess was the first to try Ripcord by iFLY!
Upon entering the wind tunnel, the instructor guides you into proper prone positioning using the handles on your jumpsuit. It took me a few seconds to get my wings and find the proper hand/arm positioning as I could not figure out what the instructor was trying to tell me. Finally, I figured out that he wanted me to separate my fingers. With those instructions, the chin up position, and knees bent, I thought I was ready for my flying debut. Think again, the second the instructor took the hands-off approach, I managed to flip myself over….and again! Once back in flying position, I managed to smile for the camera, and my time was already over. Just as I was starting to get the hang of it.
Next up was DB. Upon entering the Ripcord tunnel, he seemed a bit more stable than I was. He was instructed to straighten his knees to maintain optimal flying position. It was not the most graceful flight, but it certainly was not the worst either. And, as much as I don’t want to admit it, it was a better flight than mine. He was able to have some brief “hands-off” time from the instructor without actually flipping himself over. Although, he was not able to perfect the smile at the camera for his professional picture as well as me.
Ripcord by iFLY was definitely a great experience and a must try for all the adrenaline junkies out there. But, the 1 minute seemed too short, so we might consider paying the additional $40 for a 2 minute flight next time on Anthem of the Seas.
If you are worried or think that iFLY is not for you, don’t be. The instructor is there to provide as much or as little help as you need. Safety first! We watched people young and old of all body types, including a blind gentleman, enjoy themselves on Ripcord by iFLY.
If you would like more information about iFLY, how to advance your skill levels, or to find a land location near you, visit www.iflyworld.com
Have you tried Ripcord by iFLY on land or at sea onboard Quantum of the Seas? We would love to hear about your experience with this amazing sky diving simulator, so drop us an anchor below.